Banks acquitted

The case against former Auckland mayor and Act leader John Banks has been thrown out:

The Crown misled the Court of Appeal by failing to disclose a document to John Banks ahead of an appeal hearing, according to a new judgment.

But the three senior judges this was an “error of judgment rather than misconduct”.

The case against Mr Banks has been thrown out and he will not face a second trial for allegedly filing a false electoral return.

The Court of Appeal has sensationally reversed its previous decision to order a retrial following the late disclosure of a document, which Mr Banks’ lawyer David Jones QC said “contradicts all evidence given at trial” by the Dotcom witnesses and made the prosecution “untenable”.

In a judgment just released by the Court of Appeal, Justices Ellen France, Forrest Miller and John Wild ruled that Mr Banks should not stand trial again and he was acquitted.

The senior judges disagreed with the Crown’s argument that the ‘Butler memorandum’ did not need to be disclosed.

“We hold rather that the Crown could not both withhold the memorandum and resist the appeal in the manner that it did. The effect was to mislead the Court.

“We are satisfied that there has been a serious error of process. It is, we accept, attributable to an error of judgment rather than misconduct.” . .

 That error of judgement does not reflect well on the court.

The trial largely hinged on the credibility of who was right about a contentious lunch at the Dotcom mansion. Banks was convicted but his wife Amanda later unearthed new witnesses who corroborated their version of events, so the Court of Appeal quashed the conviction and ordered a retrial. . . .

Mrs Banks, understandably, did not take kindly to the judge in the earlier case accepting Kim Dot Com’s word rather than hers:

 . . The Court of Appeal’s decision notes Mrs Banks “was stung by the Judge’s opinion of her reliability”.

“She became quite obsessed as she puts it, with identifying the two Americans. . .

That obsession led to the evidence which secured her husband’s acquittal.

 

11 Responses to Banks acquitted

  1. jabba says:

    on behalf of the Green, Labour, Mana and Winny1st parties, I would like say sorry to John Banks and his amazing wife.

  2. Andrei says:

    You know the old saying Jabba “you lie down with dogs you wake up with fleas”

    I don’t approve of extraditing Mr Dotcom to the USA but any politician who has dealings with him does so at their peril and should have realized that from the get go

    We should have never given him residency but money talks I guess

  3. TraceyS says:

    “That obsession led to the evidence which secured her husband’s acquittal.”

    Good on her!

  4. Dave Kennedy says:

    I don’t think Banks is a bad person and think he should be left alone to pick up the pieces of his life. However some of what he experienced wasn’t helped by his unconvincing responses and odd memory loss, remember he originally couldn’t remember being flown to Dotcom’s mansion in his helicopter. I’m not surprised people questioned his honesty.

  5. Gravedodger says:

    Gee Davek you are indeed a very brave man claiming The Hon John Banks to be a man without honesty here on another hosts blog under a nom d plume.

    The very young child of parents who were imprisoned before his very eyes, who picked himself up from an appalling start in life to become comfortably wealthy, who then dedicated over twenty years of his life to public service and was brought down by the avowed efforts of a convicted felon who warned Banks that a failure to get him a better deal from justice here in an adopted country would end with his, Banks, being “destroyed’.
    Now you from the comfort of your lazyboy cast aspersions on personal integrity, says so much more about you than John Banks.

    I accept you are politically driven in this but politely suggest that should you wish to flirt with actionable statements on another person’s probity you do at your place of worship , of course that would deny you the public profile you gain from your cowardly effort here.

    Of course had Mr Banks availed himself of the security blanket then available of a “secret Trust” that Cunliffe, Brown and all the socialists indulged in to protect them from such untoward outcomes this would never have happened.
    Sometimes honest people become entrapped by their inherent honesty but you would possibly have to read up on that.

  6. Ray says:

    I don’t think Banks is a bad person and think he should be left alone to pick up the pieces of his life.
    Fortunately this cringe-worthy comment from a [delted] like yourself Mr Kennedy, will pass without notice from the good Mr Banks.

    [I deleted a couple of words. You can address the argument without abusing the arguer].

  7. Dave Kennedy says:

    GD & Ray, Banks’ back story is an impressive one and what I said is not in the slightest patronising. The groups at the two extremes are those who are braying for Banks’ blood and won’t be happy until he is behind bars and the other is possibly your group that idolise the man and will enthusiastically defend him to the end. I don’t fit either group.

    My own opinion is that he used the local body electoral law to his advantage (Len Brown wasn’t much different) and the truth around the signing off of his donations we may never know. It may have been something deliberate or just lazy oversight and his squirmy explanations don’t help his credibiity.

    I actually feel there is no value in pursuing him further as the costs involved cannot be supported. For anyone who wanted to see him punished he has probably had more than enough already as it cost him his job, possibly his marriage and damaged his reputation. For someone who has devoted much of his life to public service, even though I disagree with his politics, I actually feel sorry for him.

  8. Gravedodger says:

    DaveK sorry, “yeah right” , it is only hypocritical, you impugned his honesty and in the wonderful world of politics that you aspire to join that is a rather serious facet of what passes for accepted behaviour in the zoo.

    “Brown was no different in his actions”, bollocks, only being the cowardly socialist he is, he “took the fifth” and had all his almost half a million spondulicks in dodgy donations filtered through a secret trust, leaving everyone totally unaware as to who might benefit from his largesse. Given the chaos that The City of sails has sunk to there are many who have benefitted handsomely. That’s alright though as those voracious spenders of OPMs are socialists eh.

    At the very least it is conceded that all John Banks travails have emanated from the very real threat of a chastened Kraut who was denied what he thought he was “owed” for his donations. So it was JB’s honesty in declining to intervene on Schmitz’s behalf that attracted the whole episode.

    To suggest my support for the man as Idolising him is an extremely OTT and totally unjustified slur but from you with your very flexible and dripping with hyperbole hair shirt, absolutely of no surprise whatsoever. In my very simple world it is about fair, reasonable and legal.
    He was the only politician, among so many candidates, who ended up in court for breaching electoral Law after Crown Law took over the proceedings initiated by ex bankrupt, ex accountant, convicted tax cheat and blackmailer Graham McCready, when there were so many others more deserving of being held to account. They were not ACT Party MPs though were they

    Justice Edwin Wyllie is an Environment Court appointment of the Clark Government (remind us again the Party too toxic to be in Government but very compliant in matters of confidence and supply, enablers if you will), [deleted] How he came to the conclusion that Amanda Banks was less believable than the cohorts of convicted criminal Kraut and his pole dancer wife defies the belief of thinking citizens of many hues.

    Did it never occur to the dopy judge that Amanda Banks was of much sterner stuff and what has subsequently transpired must be a chastening experience for Justice E Wyllie ‘Coyote’.
    [deleted]

    DaveK, if you consider my utter dismay at John Banks being stripped of his Cabinet portfolios, being hounded from the house of Representatives, having to spend eyewatering amounts of his money defending himself, having his family treated with such degrading pressure, his marriage in disarray all the while being personally and politically destroyed because so many who opposed his politics for no other reason than he was “one of them”, to be Idolising, when it is extreme and deeply felt sympathy driven by feelings of absolute disgust, then you are indeed a very strange simplistic and shallow person.

    ps a quick squiz of your own blog reveals none of the brave aspersions you cast on the Character of one of New Zealand’s outstanding Citizens at Hp’s place, funny that, but not the humorous kind, more funny peculiar but totally unsurprising. Is it too much to suggest your green cloak with the red lining is becoming a soiled yellow camouflage poncho?

    [I’ve deleted a couple of sentences because I think they could be defamatory. -Ele]

  9. Dave Kennedy says:

    GD, I expressed the view that Banks’ explanations did him no favours and in polite terms. I don’t know if you heard his National Radio interview where he refused to answer questions regarding his actual knowledge of the payments (he has always refused to do so).

    I find your references to the people you mention in your emotive comment highly offensive and unnecessary. The fact there were worse comments that Ele deemed defamatory is a bit concerning.

    Banks’ Wikipedia entry makes interesting reading, while he undoubtedly did some good he has been continually controversial with a repeated disregard for rules that others would be expected to follow. He also has had a ongoing reputation for bullying and ‘gutter’ politics. I was far kinder to him than Wikipedia, so I hate to think of the stream of defamatory comments that will result from reading it 😛

    You may want to rewrite his page and disregard the 85 references that informed it:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Banks_%28New_Zealand_politician%29

  10. Dave Kennedy says:

    Banks has stretched electoral law and his honesty to the limit before:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10112237

  11. Gravedodger says:

    My unreserved apologies to our ever gracious host, it was an OTT disrespect to a wonderful blog with high standards.
    I could blame Mr Kennedy for provoking me but as I am not a socialist I take full responsibility for my indiscretion and humbly apologise without any intent to replicate what I originally took DaveK to task for, ie asserting possibly defamatory statements.

    Murray aka Gravedodger.

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